Asus Zenfone 9 Shows a Small Android 12 Phone Can Still Go Fast

    What’s taking place
    The $700 Asus Zenfone 9 has each a tiny 5.9-inch display screen and the newest Snapdragon chip.
    Why it issues
    The Zenfone is without doubt one of the smallest Android telephones presently made and one of many cheaper telephones to incorporate probably the most highly effective Snapdragon processor.

    What’s subsequent
    While small Android telephones will nonetheless be a rarity shifting ahead, we anticipate the Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Plus Gen 1 chip to be in much more Android telephones throughout the second half of 2022.

    The new $700 Asus Zenfone 9, revealed Thursday, goals to present followers of smaller telephones all of the specs and energy of bigger, dearer flagship telephones. The Zenfone 9 contains the latest Snapdragon 8 Plus Gen 1 chip, a 120Hz excessive refresh price display screen, two rear cameras, Android 12, twin audio system and a headphone jack.I examined the $800 model of the Zenfone 9 for a number of days, which incorporates 16GB of RAM and 256GB of storage. The base $700 mannequin comes with 8GB of RAM and 128GB of storage. Internationally the cellphone prices 799 euros, which converts roughly to £670 or AU$1,170. A launch date has not but been introduced.Comparisons to Apple’s $729 iPhone 13 Mini are simple. While the Zenfone 9 is barely taller and wider than Apple’s smallest cellphone, each embody the latest and highly effective processor supplied — the A15 Bionic within the case of the iPhone. 

    Zenfone 9 dimensions vs. iPhone 13 Mini


    Screen measurement



    Asus Zenfone 9

    5.9 inches

    5.76 in (146.5 mm)

    2.68 in (68.1 mm)

    Apple iPhone 13 Mini

    5.4 inches

    5.18 in (131.5 mm)

    2.53 in (64.2 mm)

    The Zenfone’s smaller measurement, together with its spectacular specs, have made it a pleasure to make use of to date. The cellphone looks like just a little distant management that may deal with something that I throw at it: video games, night time mode pictures and video calls. When I unlock the cellphone, there’s even a peppy wallpaper animation that additional emphasizes its velocity.The Zenfone 9’s sub-6-inch show means it is a rarity amongst Android telephones. It’s impressively small and highly effective, operating on the Snapdragon chip discovered primarily in gaming telephones such because the $729 RedMagic 7S Pro. Though the upcoming OnePlus 10T may also embody the chip.Yet the brand new Asus cellphone is lacking a number of options that almost all different $700 telephones have. Chief amongst them is the shortage of wi-fi charging and a software program replace timeline of greater than two years. An Asus rep stated that software program updates may lengthen previous two years. But in contrast with the three and 4 years of Android OS updates supplied by Google and Samsung, respectively, that is on the shorter aspect.The Asus Zenfone 9 features a headphone jack up high, and twin audio system.
    Mike Sorrentino/CNET
    Fast display screen, quick chargingThe Zenfone’s 5.9-inch display screen has a 1080p decision and is straightforward to make use of with one hand. Asus tailor-made the settings in its ZenUI interface to make one-handed use even simpler: Similar to Apple’s Reachability function, you’ll be able to transfer the highest a part of the display screen to the underside to make issues simpler to succeed in.The 120Hz refresh price makes apps and web sites clean to browse. That excessive refresh price coupled with a 240Hz contact sampling price makes it really feel like I’m flying by way of duties. I performed a number of video games on the cellphone — which was barely harder on the smaller display screen since a lot of them are designed with bigger telephones in thoughts. But the cellphone’s responsiveness is useful, permitting for quicker response instances throughout gameplay.In phrases of sturdiness, the display screen is roofed in Corning Gorilla Glass Victus. The cellphone has an IP68 score for water and mud resistance. That means the it could survive being submerged in 1 meter of water for 30 minutes. While I nonetheless have to run formal battery checks, I have not wanted to cost the cellphone’s 4,300-mAh battery a lot. During my most energetic day of use — taking pictures of a ramen lunch, watching YouTube movies whereas studying information, utilizing Google Maps to go to a dimly lit bar the place I took Night mode pictures — the battery ended the day at roughly 50%.Asus stated the battery ought to final 1.9 days. Fortunately the cellphone comes with a 30-watt charger within the field and there are a number of power-saving modes in Settings like scheduling a lower-power mode to run in a single day.The again of the Asus Zenfone 9 is outlined by its two giant rear cameras.
    Mike Sorrentino/CNET
    The twin rear cameras are first rateThe again of the Zenfone 9 is dominated by its two rear cameras. They’re sufficiently big to virtually be a design assertion. There’s a important 50-megapixel digicam with a six-axis hybrid gimbal stabilizer and a 12-megapixel digicam with an ultrawide lens. On the entrance is a 12-megapixel selfie digicam.Photos taken below common lighting look fairly good. Take a take a look at the colour and element within the picture under that I took of my ramen lunch.This Zenfone picture of ramen was taken indoors.
    Mike Sorrentino/CNET
    I took this picture of vegetation on a sunny Manhattan rooftop.
    Mike Sorrentino/CNET
    I used to be most impressed by the cellphone’s Night mode. Check out the picture under that I took inside a really darkish bar. The Zenfone’s Night mode makes the photographs look brighter virtually like there was extra lighting. Notice how Night mode made the shadows brighter and retained particulars like the feel within the wooden paneling on the bar’s entrance.
    Mike Sorrentino/CNET
    The front-facing digicam can also be superb and picks up sufficient element in pictures. Notice the sample on my shirt within the selfie picture under. Asus claims the front-facing digicam has the quickest autofocus presently accessible, however in my early checks it felt common in comparison with different telephones on this value vary. Video calls with the front-facing digicam additionally labored effectively. Front-facing digicam picture taken on the Asus Zenfone 9.
    Mike Sorrentino/CNET
    Small-size cellphone with huge efficiencyThe Zenfone 9 is a good choice for somebody on the lookout for a small cellphone that has higher-end options like a Snapdragon 8 Plus Gen 1 chip and a 120Hz high-refresh price display screen. The cellphone runs on 5G and helps sub-6 and C-band.If you are contemplating the Zenfone 9 be mindful it solely has two years of software program help and lacks wi-fi charging and mmWave 5G help (which remains to be a rarity throughout a lot of the US). If you are on the lookout for a small-ish cellphone below $500, try the $449 Pixel 6A and its barely taller 6.1-inch display screen.

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